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    Asia and the Pacific Division

    Enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty

    Sustainability of rural

    development projects

    Best practices and lessons learned

    by IFAD in Asia

    PHILIPPINES CASE STUDY

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    Enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty

    Sustainability of rural development projects

    Best practices and lessons learned by IFAD in Asia

    PHILIPPINES CASE STUDY

    Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource

    Management Project and Cordillera Highland Agricultural

    Resource Management Project

    by

    TANGO International

    This case study was carried out as part of a larger

    review on Sustainability of rural development projects.

    Best practices and lessons learned by IFAD in Asia,published as the eighth occasional paper produced by

    the Asia and the Pacific Division, IFAD

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    Sustainability of rural development projects Philippines case study

    Acronyms

    ADB Asian Development Bank

    AIMS Area Information Management System

    ARRI Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD Operations

    BHW Barangay Health Worker

    CADC Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims

    CADT Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles

    CDP community development plan

    CHARM Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project

    CIs community institutions

    DAR Department of Agrarian Reform

    DHO Department of Health

    DTI Department of Trade and Industry

    GK Gawad Kalinga (NGO)

    HADP Highland Agricultural Development Project

    IPs indigenous peoples

    LCOV Local Community Organizer Volunteer

    LGU Local Government Unit

    M&E monitoring and evaluation

    NGO non-governmental organization

    NMCIREMP Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource

    Management Project

    NRM natural resource management

    PAF Poverty Alleviation Funds

    PFO Programme Facilitation Office

    PHO Provincial Health Office

    RIMS Results and Impact Management System

    SCOPE Strengthening Capacities of Organizations of the Poor

    Experiences in Asia

    SHG self-help group

    TANGO Technical Assistance to Non-Governmental Organizations, Inc.

    UNOPS United Nations Office for Project Services

    UNICEF the United Nations Children's Fund

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    Table of contents

    Executive Summary 4

    I Introduction 6

    A. Purpose of the Study 7

    B. Methods and Limitations of the Study 7

    II Design Elements and Their Relationship to Sustainability 9

    A. Project Overviews 9

    B. Programming Models 10

    C. Community Participation in Design 10D. Targeting Approach 11

    E. Linkages among Components 12

    F. Adequacy of Institutional Analysis 12

    G. Factoring Risk Management into Design 13

    H. Consideration of Environmental Issues 13

    I. Exit/Sustainability Strategy 13

    III Implementation Issues Related to Sustainability 15

    A. Sustainability Issues Related to Specific Components of NMCIREMP 15

    B. Sustainability Issues Related to Specific Components of CHARM 17

    C. Project Management 19

    D. Monitoring and Evaluation 19

    IV Challenges and Opportunities for Addressing Different

    Dimensions of Sustainability 22

    A. Institutional Sustainability 22

    B. Household and Community Resilience 24

    C. Environmental Sustainability 24

    D. Addressing Structural Dimensions of Poverty 25

    VI Conclusions and Lessons Learned 26

    Annex A. Terms of Reference 29

    Annex B. Itinerary 32

    Annex C. Main Documents Consulted 33

    Annex D. Additional Guidance on Developing Exit Strategies 34

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    Sustainability of rural development projects Philippines case study

    This study was conducted and its report authored by Richard Caldwell, of TANGO

    International, with the gracious support of IFAD staff in Rome, Mindanao, Bagio, and

    with the patient collaboration of many community and institutional representatives.

    Designing projects that provide sustainable benefits has long been a primary concern

    with IFAD. While sustainability has been on its agenda for some time, there remain

    significant obstacles to designing and implementing projects that are sustainable in all

    aspects. In an effort to move towards more sustainable programming, IFAD has sought

    clearer structure and guidance to enhance the effectiveness of their development efforts.

    This document provides insights into sustainability by looking at two projects in the

    Philippines: The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)/IFAD Northern Mindanao

    Community Initiatives and Resource Management Project (NMCIREMP) and the

    Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARM).

    Several important lessons related to sustainability emerge from the two projects:

    1. There is a theoretical imbalance between the number of communities reached

    and the sustainability of the effort, given the local context and budget. In the

    quest to serve as many beneficiaries as possible, projects often end up spreading

    staff too thin, having minimal contact with community members and

    institutions, and unable to monitor areas that need shoring up. This is evident

    in both NMCIREMP and CHARM, where the need to reach a large number of

    communities comes into conflict with the need to have physical presence as

    Local Government Units (LGUs), community organizations, and partners

    implement activities.

    2. NGOs should be treated as partners and not contractors, and should have a large

    stake in project planning and implementation. Their work needs to be

    appropriately phased so that community-led processes are well along before

    other dimensions of the programme take place.

    3. Gains in natural resource management (NRM) are associated with livelihood

    systems. Where there is a clear link between NRM and livelihoods, people will

    become engaged in NRM activities if they see a potential short-to-medium termreturn. Where returns are longer (watershed rehabilitation, agroforestry, soil

    regeneration) there has to be an entirely different strategy and set of

    expectations. In addition, moving from the resource planning stage (usually a

    resource management plan or a land use plan) to the activity or

    implementation phase has proved challenging in almost all projects. For one,

    the time horizon for observing measurable change is usually much longer than

    with other project components, so that NRM activities quickly get out of sync

    with other activities. This often results in communities losing momentum or

    interest in the NRM sector.

    4. There are many analogies to that of an orchestra. Projects need diversified

    instruments and strategies to achieve desired change. They must have strong

    leadership and make use of local knowledge and experience. The different

    Executive Summary

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    components of the project have to come in and out of play at the appropriate

    time, and any missing factor will be noticed in the outcome.

    5. NRM must include the promotion of indigenous knowledge systems andpractices, natural resource management and enhancement, and the use of

    natural resources in production systems. These concepts have to be introduced

    early and in a manner that will ensure participation in resource management

    (specially off-farm) in the long term. This may mean a radically different model

    than that followed in either CHARM or NMCIREMP. It may include strict land

    use allocation (recognizing the implications on productions systems), cropping

    insurance, monetary or other incentives to invest in long-term enhancement,

    and the strategic use of hillside crops such as coffee and tea that can be grown

    under canopy.

    6. Risk mapping should be made a prerequisite and be instilled as part of the

    project design process. Sustainable strategies for remote areas and areas with

    diverse groups need a risk management lens to identify what kinds of risk

    management capacity needs to be in place at the household and community

    level, what types of safety nets need to be available at various levels in case local

    capacity to manage risk becomes overwhelmed, and what kinds of social

    protection mechanisms need to be in place at the provincial level in case the

    lower levels are not able to respond to a shock (productive safety nets to

    rebuild assets).

    7. Foundaton processes for sustaining gains need to be instituted from the

    beginning of each project. In CHARM, Peoples Organizations were still

    relatively weak after Phase I. At both the municipal and barangay(district) levels,

    a continuing attitude of institutional dependency still exists (as demonstrated,

    for example, by continued requests for basic operational inputs and

    maintenance funds). Improved participation, ownership and wider

    capacity-building would contribute to a greater likelihood of sustainability.

    Ensuring that these foundation processes are recognized and integrated into

    project components would be facilitated by the development of a sustainability

    plan (replacing the term exit strategy) during Year 1 of any project.